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What constitutes an emergency?

Basically, if your horse shows signs of distress, you should consider some of the following, which may turn out to be an emergency situation.

  • Colic
  • Diarrhoea
  • Any wounds near a joint, tendon or your horse’s foot
  • Any lacerations involving the joints, tendons or large blood vessels
  • Fractures
  • Severe lameness
  • Wounds affecting the eye
  • Pain in the eye, which may result in the horse shaking its head, squinting or having teary eyes
  • Bleeding that won’t slow down or bleeding from the nose
  • Fever
  • Neurologic disorders, which may look like weakness and an unsteady gait 
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficult delivery of a foal


  • Stay calm – your horse will sense if you’re distressed.
  • Call your vet immediately if you suspect your horse is having problems. You may receive advice by phone until help arrives.
  • Adopt appropriate PPE measures until given the ‘all clear’ by your vet.